Saturday, August 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Dear Kaden, Happy Birthday to You!

Our boy turned ONE!! We celebrated with a circus themed party at the local park. Five of Kaden's friends (and their parents, of course), and a few family members (Yay! Gammi!) came out to help commemorate the occasion. We planned for a few weeks to make sure everything was taken care of: Invitations - check, Food - check, Decorations - check, Gifts - check. While all the planning paid off, and the party came together nicely, none of it was enjoyed by the birthday boy himself. Our little man came down with a virus and wanted nothing to do with any of it! He enjoyed the swings and playing with his buddies, but as the party rolled on Kaden lost interest. When it came time to eat and have his first taste of sugar, he had the go-to-pieces and wanted nothing to do with any of it. Poor little guy! Maybe the theme should have been, "It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To."

The setting.
Twelve months of Kaden! A photo for each month.
We made brown bag lunches for the kiddos that included an animal shaped cream cheese and jam sandwich, a bag of dehydrated pears, an apple juice box, and circus animal finger puppets.
Going along with the circus theme, we had circus tent cookies for the adults and animal cracker take home boxes for the kids (they even had little circus stickers that said "Thank You For Coming - Kaden."
The Piece de Resistance - Kaden's smash cake.
I used Papa's famous chocolate cake recipe to make Kaden's special smash cake - all from scratch including the homemade icing!! Using a giant silicone cupcake mold, it took me two attempts to make the final product - the first cake fell apart as I tried to remove the cake. The second cake came out of the oven around 10:30 p.m. and, after letting it cool, I completed it around midnight. All the effort and Kaden didn't even end up tasting it! I have to say, he doesn't know what he missed!!! I may pick a random day to try again...I am dying for photos of him with cake and icing all over his sweet little face!!
The Happy Birthday Circus Banner
The park afforded the kids an opportunity to play on the swings and jungle gym.
The kids enjoying their lunch.
Family Photo
Over it! Kaden was whisked off to bed soon after this shot. Prior to putting him down for a nap we took his temperature...102!! No wonder he wasn't interested in his cake.

Happy Birthday my sweet boy - you have made this year the best of your mama's life.

Twelve Months Old = Toddler!?

While I was pregnant, I signed up for an electronic newsletter that gave me weekly updates as to the progress of the little one growing inside me. After Kaden arrived, the newsletter continued and the subject line always read, "Your Baby This Week." On August 28, 2010, the line read, "Your Toddler This Week." Sob!!! A toddler?! When did that happen? I can not believe that a year ago...365 days...we brought our tiny little bundle of joy home from the hospital. I am 100% convinced that time sped up when he arrived. I'm not entirely sure where the time goes - some days seem to last much longer than twenty-four hours - but it sure does disappear.

Is this the same baby?

Kaden's stats: 29 inches long (30th Percentile);
23 pounds (50th Percentile);
19 inch head circumference (90th Percentile).
- Yes, that's right...90th!!! A big brain, maybe?

When Gammi was in town visiting we took our first trip to the Wild Animal Park. This place was better than any zoo I've ever seen, including the San Diego Zoo (which is really saying something). The Wild Animal Park is set up like a safari and the animals really seem to roam about on their terms. They have actual safari tours, but the shortest lasted 50 minutes and we didn't think Kaden would be able to sit still that long. They also have something called Roar and Snore where you spend the night in cool little tent bungalows. Kaden is going to love this place when he is a little bigger! For now though, he couldn't keep his eyes off the elephants.

Gammi also got to attend one of Kaden's music classes. He still really enjoys the class and is getting more and more involved each time we go. His favorite part is the end when the teacher pulls out her guitar. He sits and stares in amazement. A rock star (or maybe groupie?) in the making.

Our boy is ALL BOY. Not a day goes by when he isn't absolutely filthy. It is as though he is a magnet for dirt. His favorite outdoor activity, other than swinging or playing at the beach, is digging for our sprinkler heads. A close second is picking up rocks and pushing them through the diamond shaped cut-outs on our front gate. Every night, I diligently scrub his nails trying (in vain) to remove the dirt. I'm guessing this is only the beginning. Looking at this photo reminds me that I should probably pull most of Kaden's white shirts out of rotation for a while.

Kaden loves being outdoors. If he can't be outdoors, he settles for looking outdoors. His favorite spot to do this is our bedroom window because it is low enough to the ground for him to actually see out. We usually reserve this activity for after his evening bath. Bathtime is still his absolute favorite time of day. Actually, many times during the day he will crawl into the bathroom and stand by the tub as if to say, "let's do this, now." For the first time, just the other day, Kaden had a really hard fall while trying to climb up the back of the tub. I was sure this would dampen his excitement about the whole bath process, but I was wrong.

(Thanks, Teddy, for the cool new pajamas!)

This month brought an obsession with books - he loves helping turn the pages, and points out all of the pictures he recognizes. His favorite type of book has gone from lift the flap (which he is still quite fond of) to touch and feel. His sensory processing has kicked into high gear and he enjoys exploring all the different textures. His love of anything with wheels continues, and he received a few new toys for his birthday that will, in all likelihood, only increase his interest. We've also noticed that, unlike his father, he is really good at following directions. We can say, "Kaden, bring Mommy your monkey" and he will go to the door where monkey hangs out, pull him off the doorknob, and crawl monkey back over to us. He is quite proud of himself when we applaud his efforts. The BIG development this month is how close Kaden is to taking his very first steps. I know he could do it on his own, he just doesn't have the confidence. He barely puts any pressure on the hand (or finger) he is holding, but he needs it all the same. I think the task must be on his mind because all he wants to do is practice, practice, practice.

Kaden showing off his brand new age - 1!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

First Haircut!




When we got back from summer vacation and took a look at all our photos, we realized our little guy looked like a rag-a-muffin. So, we took him to a local toy shop/salon called Little Locks and got him his first haircut. He didn't flinch; actually, he loved being in the toy jet and, once the stylist gave him his own comb to chew on, he sat quite still. The cut turned out to be quite a bit shorter than we had planned (we just wanted a trim to shape things up), but he looked cute all the same. Kevin joked that he looked like Lloyd Christmas from the movie Dumb and Dumber, but now that it has grown out a little he looks more handsome than ever.